As we were nearing our first anniversary my plan for a holiday stuck and I chose Coorg as I’ve been reading about it and knew that it would be perfect for the April summer. Anu was given the dates, but the place was undisclosed.
Travel Plan: Train journey from Mumbai – Mangalore, bus ride from Mangalore to Madikeri (capital of Coorg district).
Stay Plan: 5 Nights / 6 Days at Club Mahindra Resort, Coorg.
As we got into the train (Mangalore Express – only operated during vacations); I met a friend who runs a restaurant in our office premises at Goregaon. He was traveling to his hometown Udupi. After few chit-chats & some sharing of dinner we were closed eyes; Finally we reached Mangalore Junction at 12:30 PM; took a rick and reached Mangalore Bus Depot, inquired for the next bus to Madikeri, it was then that we were informed by the KSRTC officials that due to some road work the Volvo buses were not operational and if we choose to go by the normal buses which would be going via the same route but not directly, we will have to changeover to another bus after a place called Sampajee. I checked the map and went as per the suggestion of the officials. After our lunch at the Bus Depot we started our bus journey (3 Hrs 15 mins) from Mangalore to Sampajee. As we got down we saw the connecting bus already waiting for us; now it was from Sampajee to Madikeri (1 Hr 30 Mins). Normally all buses operate directly from Mangalore to Madikeri; this was just a stop gap arrangement and no other private vehicles were allowed due to this repair. All other vehicles were using the alternate path which was 100 Km longer i.e. 140 KM was now 240 KM.
I did thank myself for choosing this route; the other alternate routes available were Mysore – Madikeri or Kannur to Madikeri. I didn’t choose Mysore as it would be a longer train journey and Kannur would be unpredictable due to Kerala elections. Our experience in the bus was awesome, it was really amazing to see the conductor being so polite and checking whether everyone was comfortable and seated. The best part was almost everyone understood Hindi; I being a malayalee it was not at all difficult to communicate as everyone knew Malayalam here. Anu was much mesmerized by the beauty of nature, it was just green everywhere and full of different fruit trees (Jack Fruit, Mango, Chickoo, Cashew nut, Oranges, Banana, etc); being such a place, spotting birds was not at all difficult. Every now and then Anu would ask, “Which is that bird?” I would answer them with delight; she hasdstarted liking bird-watching that’s great news for me.
As we reached Madikeri by 20:00 we took a rick to the resort, Club Mahindra is very popular among the people here. As per my interactions with the locals, they have brought tourism back to Coorg. Coorg was always in the limelight of British, they named it ‘The Scotland of India’ coz of large serene greenery. During my train journey I was reading about Coorg and was really proud to be traveling to this place; reason for the pride was that every house had a man in the Indian Arm Forces. The greatest of all the army men, the first Commander-in-Chief Late K.M. Cariappa belonged to this place.
I came to know that every house in Madikeri had a gun and as per their tradition if a son is born in their house a single bullet is fired in the air and for the death of an individual two bullets are fired. Women are treated with most respect.
We reached our resort; the club officials reviewed our stay while we enjoyed the welcome drink. We were then escorted to our holiday home; the names of the apartments in CM Coorg were on trees. Ours was named Biki (Himalayan Chokeberry is a small evergreen tree). This was our first visit to a CM property; we took our time to soothe in; since it was already dark we thought of exploring the resort next day.
Day 1: Around Madikeri
- Abby Falls
- Omkareshwar Temple
- Raja Seat
- Raja Tomb
- Dubare Elephant Camp
- Irpu Falls
- Nagarhole National Park
- Talacauvery (Bhagamandala)
- Golden Temple
- Cauvery Nisargadham